Starting from scratch with health records? Choose consultants to help

If records aren't working for healthcare organizations, perhaps they should start over.

Developing a successful health records system is important for staying current and up to date with government mandates, but what if it's more convenient to start over from scratch? Circumstances differ for every provider, and an article that recently appeared in Hospitals & Health Networks and was cited by FierceHealthIT suggests that practitioners should take a hard look at their records system and consider whether or not it works for them.

While the author of the article, Joe Flower of the Change Project, doesn't completely disparage the need for records systems, he does say that many are grappling with inefficient records structures when they would be better off replacing them outright. He recommends that health IT professionals look at the actual performance of their records platform and measure whether or not they have made information sharing better or worse.

Before deciding whether to stay with their current approach to managing digital health information, Flower also says that organizations should look for possible security flaws, transparency issues, ease of use and other potential roadblocks to consistent and helpful service across the board. 

Another thing Flower focuses on is the importance of interoperability and sharing data, which he says should be less difficult than it has been for many. In an opinion letter written to the New York Times, Mark Segal and Sarah Corley of the Electronic Health Record Association recently expressed a similar interest in this aspect.

"The federal incentive program for providers to acquire and meaningfully use federally certified electronic health records has spurred greatly increased adoption," they write. "Certification requires the systems to have substantial data exchange capabilities — interoperability — using national standards, with more than 500 electronic health record systems now certified to these capabilities."

Whether or not your practice is staying with their current records system, healthcare coding and consulting services will help recognize the processes you need to adhere to.

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